Vent Your Biggest Work Pet Peeves

  • People who bloviate on conference calls when everyone else is just trying to wrap up and get to other things
    • Bonus points for being the guy who tells an analyst to put an hour on the calendar to discuss a trivial clarification question
  • MDs requesting numerous cumbersome changes to CIMs / Models in the early iterations, then telling you to change back to the original version once they realize there is a reason why you did something a certain way to begin with (which you tried to explain to them)
  • Clients not providing any of the information you requested from them yet thinking if they're rude enough they can force you to get to market faster
  • Staying in the office until midnight and spending three hours from 5:00PM to 8:00PM trying to look busy while you wait for actionable feedback from the client/boss

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Comments (98)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2021 - 3:58pm

First-year analysts/interns blatantly doing something the lazy way and acting oblivious that they didn't format/check their work. "OHHH, now that you mention it I did format this table pasted from excel differently than the formatting on every other slide in this deck"

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Jun 3, 2021 - 4:18pm

Idk why but it kind of annoys me when a fellow analyst/associate dips out early on a night when the MDs are traveling and says he/she has something they have to run for. Like bruh, I'm not the one deciding your bonus, just say you're getting tf out of here because it's 6PM and you can for once. 

  • VP in RE - Other
Jun 3, 2021 - 4:26pm

Views From the Real Estate World:

  • Brokers who act like Economists and try too hard to "sell" a deal. Our IC has their own views on cap rate compression and market dynamics thank you very much, we don't need an extra opinion on macroeconomics from an Equity placement agent
  • Fund managers who claim to manage billions in AUM when in reality they're only a small portion of the capital stack for each of their deals and their actual invested capital is a few hundred M's.
  • Property Managers/Asset Managers who are doing a crappy job and throw their workers under the bus when regrouping at our monthly AM meetings
  • Developers who claim deals on their website that their current employees worked on at past firms
  • Developers who add literally no value to a deal and third-party out nearly every element of the deal process, start to finish
  • Tenants who act surprised at their rent increasing upon renewal, especially when they were far below market to begin with and everybody knows it
  • Clingy brokers who get personally butt-hurt when you don't show any interest in the shitty deals they show you
Jun 4, 2021 - 11:51pm
  • Developers who add literally no value to a deal and third-party out nearly every element of the deal process, start to finish

I'm curious where you draw the line between outsourcing everything versus running a tight shop. Most small developers I know don't self perform anything, they're assembling the cap stack, getting entitlements/permits, assembling and managing the design and construction teams and managing lease-up through disposition. You need a ton of third parties over the course of the development even if you do CM or GC work yourself. Plus the above items I listed they do seems to be value-add to me, it's definitely not a piece of cake managing that whole process. 

Jun 7, 2021 - 4:28pm
  • Developers who claim deals on their website that their current employees worked on at past firms

Hah!  Does that really happen?  I feel like I've only ever seen this for very new shops where the founders have just struck out and are being a little fuzzy with their definition of "firm experience" versus "personal experience".  And it's hard to blame someone for that kind of hustle.

Also gotta agree with jarstar on the next one - being a developer is about bringing together and coordinating a bunch of different skill sets, and then taking on the risk that things go belly up.  What "value" do you want a developer to provide?

Most Helpful
Jun 3, 2021 - 4:48pm

Starting with those above me.

  • Throwing shit, impossible files on my plate and trying to position it as "a great opportunity for you to show leadership Rabbit". I know it's shit, you know it's shit and the only reason you're shoving it down my throat is because you don't want to be associated with the failure that's coming
  • Inviting me to meetings on short notice with no context, background or agenda. Bonus points if you throw me under the bus during Q&A or commit my time / effort without notice
  • Giving contradictory instructions AFTER deal team agrees on something. Don't make me be the go-between / scapegoat because you don't have the balls to speak up to other MDs
  • The desperation pitch - you and I both know we're never going to win this. You have zero standing with the client, we have little to no experience in that kind of transaction, and yet here I am crushing some poor associates / analysts weekend on several iterations of a  60-100 page book that you won't look at till mid next week for a relationship we don't have
  • Connecting me with clients with super vague instructions on what to achieve. Usually means (a) you need help, and I would be happy to do so if I knew what the fuck you wanted (b) you fucked up somewhere and need a scapegoat
Jun 4, 2021 - 2:12am

Man, points 2 and 3 hit home way too hard. Especially #2 though. Had a principal in PE who would do this all the time and ALWAYS ask some asinine detailed question on materials I had about 10min pre-call to review. Then when I'd not even stumble but say something like "I will revert after a deepdive on the materials" after a curveball question, would get lambasted for not being on top of it... One of those things which I tried learning from and asking for weekly call schedules in advance but just never worked due to the principal being a massive dick.

Jun 11, 2021 - 2:37pm

Mostly just listen and respond where appropriate. I generally stay current on the markets and deals and am pretty good with process related stuff, usually that gets me through without sounding clueless.  No matter what, I won't throw them under the bus in front of the client. It reflects very poorly on the firm and I'd like to think on me as well.

Jun 3, 2021 - 5:14pm

- "Let's run a scenario for "XYZ", don't work too hard on it but I want it on my desk by tomorrow morning, I want to show the Client that we care. I will not CC you on the email, because I have a personal relationship"

- "Can you run me the set of potential buyers, nothing fancy, I just want to make sure we cover every basis, don't work too hard on it, but I want it on my desk by tomorrow morning, I want several pages to send to the Client to show we are on top of everything and we are a lead bank"

- "Can you please print this PDF?, I don't know how to print myself"

- "I talked to the client, and he mentioned XYZ, can you please retrieve this info for me. Don't spin your wheels, but I'd like a full page deck to send to the client for tomorrow morning. I will CC you to show that you are a valuable member of the bank"

  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 3, 2021 - 5:31pm

PaintingDry

Pretty much everything, except when a deal closes, a deal dies, or the MD says "the client was not interested". 

Srs question - do S&T guys work on "deals"? I thought yall just traded lol. 

  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 3, 2021 - 5:27pm
  • Wild fucking goose chases to seek out information that simply doesn't exist
    • "Hey let's add some charts on Page 5 that show positive trending data" for a product/service/geographic market where all available data demonstrates a negative trend
    • "Do some digging and see if you can find the specifics of this deal" for a private transaction where pricing and deal terms weren't disclosed
    • "See if you can find a POC for the highlighted investor groups" when someone else has already failed to find any information on the group, which we have no relationship and probably wont even contact anyway
  • MDs who are illiterate in Excel and break all the etiquette codes of deal organization that they constantly remind everyone of
    • Manually editing models themselves and hard-coding shit in random places then saving over the current version of the model instead of saving as a new version
    • Reaching out to clients on a separate email chain to request something, not uploading it to the data room when received, then asking an Analyst/Associate to track it down for them
    • Scheduling meetings themselves but not including a dial-in, then reminding me of the importance to always include a dial-in when I schedule meetings with clients as though I was the one who messed up
  • Receiving no mention for your work on something that you did well for a superior, yet being assigned 100% accountability when your superior makes a mistake on something they did themselves
Jun 3, 2021 - 6:08pm

shitty excel backup/precedent etiquette

Hear me now, children, for my occupation is of much import. For 82 years I have been an oil man, a ‘baron’ some have called me. Now what does an oil baron do? The answer - crush your enemies! Grind their bones into dirt! Make them regret that they were ever born! Oil is not for the weak - it is the Earth’s milk, and only the strong may suckle at Mother’s teat!

  • 2
Jun 3, 2021 - 6:49pm

Clients who provide the bare minimum materials upon request. Then when you ask for more details, you find a variety of skeletons that need to be addressed that they simply weren't going to mention.

  • Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind
Jun 3, 2021 - 8:58pm
  • Everyone from associate to MD not including me on ANY emails then forwarding a specific thread when there is a task or pages they need with zero context
  • MDs taking my work and pitching companies to sponsors and I hear about it on the group call (the headsup I get is: "remove the private data, convert this into PDF, and send back")
  • MD from another group talks to a client in his car, noone else is on the call and they take zero notes. MDs who actually cover the client and everyone below them spend the next month trying to piece what the client wants because noone knows
  • First year analysts telling me: " I am really busy until end of day today" when all I ask is that they correct their own fucking formatting
  • VPs not reviewing the model that I did overnight, has no idea what the assumptions are (although I sent hundred emails in detail). We get fucked on the call with 2-3 MDs ripping the model apart so the vp throws me under the bus
  • I schedule a call for 6 MDs to talk about a client and after everyone gets on the call, we realize we don't have enough info or nothing to talk about and reconvene again next week
  • Sloppy model etiquette in general. I hate taking over a model and finding people (mostly associates) too lazy to format it properly or delete the updates and screenshots dating back to 2018. Hardcodes everywhere with zero comments
  • People who have nothing else but to fucking chase you all day because they want to log off by 8pm with zero fucks about accuracy
  • Intern in IB-M&A
Jun 3, 2021 - 11:37pm

Am an intern this summer and was wondering if y'all had any pet peeves regarding interns that I can try and avoid.

Jun 4, 2021 - 1:41am

people that say "look" before talking sound like megalomaniacs to me who think their opinion matters more than it does

path less traveled

  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Jun 4, 2021 - 8:14am

Most annoying thing in consulting is when clients ask you for revenue forecasts/projection then make you tweak the model until you get to the same number they had. Firstly, why am I doing this shit if you already have a model? And secondly, why are you trying to fudge a somewhat objective opinion? You've already paid for us! You're pissing away all the money you spent on us just so our numbers match and not taking advantage of our capabilities. No leadership team or investor is going to buy the bullshit that both our model outputs are within 5% of each other. Clients man...

  • Senior Consultant in Consulting
Jun 7, 2021 - 4:41am

I totally get that. And I also understand that sometimes companies just need a "stamp of approval" from a consultancy to make the case for an acquisition/business strategy. But if you ask us to finger fuck a model, at least be smart enough to accept that we will have ours come in a little lower so really sell the "objective review" rather than it be within $1-2M of your sales figures.

Jun 4, 2021 - 8:20am

anyone who begins a sentence with "so"

anyone who says soup to nuts. first of all, no one starts with soup and ends with nuts. nuts are what you snack on when you're pregaming, not soup. expression makes no sense and is stupid as fuck

ditto for circle the wagons, at the end of the day, when its all said and done, and other wordy corporatespeak that does nothing but add word count to your bit on a conference call that could've been an email

anyone who reads powerpoint slides during a call. we're adults, send us the deck and then emphasize the highlights and new info during the call. or just have visuals plus bulletpoints and explain verbally, I know how to read.

phone calls that could've been an IM/email

emails/IMs that should be phone calls

zoom calls that should be phone calls

not knowing how to use zoom after 15 months of using zoom

too much cologne/perfume in the office

people who treat their keyboard letters like their ex spouse

no knock pop-ins

loud laughers

people who chit chat on group con calls because they have no social outlet. if you want to talk to Jeff, fucking call Jeff, the other 6 of us don't need to hear about how you shot a 95 and it was hot this past weekend

anyone who seriously believes they know how to forecast

talking to me about stocks that neither of us own/are investigating but just happen to be all over CNBC

older dudes speaking to me about females in the office when both of us are married and 3 of the usual female suspects are on my team

anytime someone wants to "run something by me" but really just wants to try to convince me of their shitty idea. you don't want my opinion, you want confirmation, fuck off

Jun 4, 2021 - 9:01am

thebrofessor

anyone who says soup to nuts. first of all, no one starts with soup and ends with nuts. nuts are what you snack on when you're pregaming, not soup. expression makes no sense and is stupid as fuck

This one killed me lmao. Have an MD that constantly drops that.

I'm not one to judge but goddamn what kind of sick fuck meal progression is that. 

Jun 4, 2021 - 10:05am

Along the same lines of stupid phrases, people who love to us military terms for no reason. It's one of those things where you know they picture themselves as Captain Price from CoD but they're not SAS... they're a normal ass dude. Nothing wrong with being a normal dude. 
 

Our 25 meter target, possible IEDs (dude WTF, it's a potential problem that is fixable and won't blow off my legs), HALO insertion (I promise that doesn't just mean fast start to something, it's a strategy for jumping out of a plane), conduct reconnaissance (you mean... Google something?).

I've found this less prevalent in tech but rampant in my previous construction job. Everything was like some "operation", even worse they referred to themselves as the "navy seals of the company"- love the lowercase too. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
  • 2
Jun 4, 2021 - 10:27am

work in construction myself, 10-4, mission critical, let's debrief, running recon... it's like the industry for people that were afraid to go to the services 

  • 1
Jun 4, 2021 - 10:21am

Not knowing how to use zoom after 15 months killed me, I always have people try to get out of work with "well I've never used XYZ program before" and I'm like well computers have been around since the 80's fucking figure it out.

Circle the wagons... annoying except when you're finishing something and someone modifies it to "well let's circle the wagons and shoot the dogs, it's over boys" this just cracks me up for some reason.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Ind
Jun 9, 2021 - 5:45pm

Hey my bank used Webex and moved to a bank that used zoom, which definitely had some differences that I was not use to.  

Jun 4, 2021 - 10:17am

Impromptu meetings that could have been Slack (or other asynchronous) messages

Booking a meeting to discuss another meeting. I get it for prep for a big presentation, but a meeting to outline what we will discuss in the next meeting is entirely a waste of time. 
 

Trying to force social interaction in said meetings. I really don't want to talk about my personal life or weekend plans with 12 other people on the call. What difference does my favorite food make to you? We're all just trying to leave this meeting.

Starting meetings with no context. 
 

This one might be controversial, but sending me a message saying "Hey Malta" and waiting for me to reply before telling me what you want. Just send me a message outlining what you need and I'll get it done. I hate, "How are you doing?" Bs before you tell me you need the password for our service account because the InfoSec team keeps ignoring you...

Bad leadership. There are two types of leadership: Good and bad. Doesn't matter what industry it's in. Bad leadership is indicative of a lazy personality. You wouldn't hire someone with bad skills, but somehow leadership isn't considered a learnable skill set. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
  • 1
Jun 4, 2021 - 11:49am

The "Hey Jerome" is so annoying, no one is ever just saying high. Pleasantries in general at work, coffee chat/whatever in person chat is fine but we're all getting paid to do a job here this ain't a hobby, just tell me what you want and I'll do the same.

  • 1
Jun 11, 2021 - 2:00pm

That's not so bad. I'd still prefer one longer message than 15 messages each consisting of one sentence. But if you just send me what you want without waiting for me to converse in a bs way, that's the main point.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Jun 4, 2021 - 2:37pm

Malta

This one might be controversial, but sending me a message saying "Hey Malta" and waiting for me to reply before telling me what you want. Just send me a message outlining what you need and I'll get it done. I hate, "How are you doing?" Bs before you tell me you need the password for our service account because the InfoSec team keeps ignoring you...

not controversial at all. I completely agree. here's what I prefer

hey brofessor, have a quick favor [insert the level of urgency here, e.g. hoping to get answer quickly/this just popped into my head but doesn't need to be done this week/SOMETHINGS ON FIRE AND I NEED YOU NOW], can you please do XYZ

I don't need to be coddled, I need to have my time respected. relationships are built on respect, not empty small talk over IM. if you want small talk, fine, let's grab lunch or a drink or chat over coffee, not while I'm in the middle of trading or savoring the 30 minutes of free time I have between meetings

Jun 11, 2021 - 1:59pm

Very well articulated. Relationships aren't built via small bs talk. Good commentary on sense of urgency today- I think that's very important to convey (especially if you message someone after hours).

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Jun 4, 2021 - 2:38pm

learned a great tactic for this. if they make eye contact with you, give a little phantom tap on the ear, or better yet, just give them a thumbs down. I've done this with 100% success rate. if someone peers through my window and I'm on a call (and usually smiling) and then give them a thumbs down, they get the idea

more often than not, it wasn't important in the first place so this has the added benefit of allowing you to become a guy that people don't waste time with

Jun 4, 2021 - 2:01pm

something really pissed me off today. some fucking nerd senior guy is such a hardo in emails, he defines every single thing, so an e-mail that could conceivably be 2 sentences long comes in as a few paragraphs with accompanying backup. he's too thorough and it drives me crazy, just send a one line email ya fucking geek.

Jun 4, 2021 - 2:40pm

got one of those in my office too. buddy, we have all office meetings for this kinda thing, I wasn't ready to read a manifesto at 730am

overly verbose people are just giving you more evidence than required to say they really have nothing to say. in most settings, the more words someone writes about a simple topic, the less they know about said topic

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 7, 2021 - 3:23pm

Agree to the max. Some people need to understand that summarizing is a skill. Less tabs in a model = better, less words in a CIM = better, less sentences in an email = better. 

Jun 11, 2021 - 2:06pm

I think people don't realize being overly wordy completely defeats the purpose of whatever they wrote. I asked a new coworker if they could develop a check list of step by step for getting something set up and they came back with a 9 page document. It's 4 steps, just people forget the exact commands to type. I ended up doing it myself- defeated the purpose. Nobody is going to read 9 pages once a week. That person also sends Slack messages as long as the entire Harry Potter series. 

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb
Jun 11, 2021 - 1:51pm

2rigged2fail

something really pissed me off today. some fucking nerd senior guy is such a hardo in emails, he defines every single thing, so an e-mail that could conceivably be 2 sentences long comes in as a few paragraphs with accompanying backup. he's too thorough and it drives me crazy, just send a one line email ya fucking geek.

I get that, and it's annoying.

But I've been on the other side where a 2 sentence email is so vague you have no idea what the fuck they want you to do. Or worse, no one else understands that 2 sentence email either, so it leads to 3 meetings so everyone can figure it out.

  • Analyst 2 in RE - Comm
Jun 4, 2021 - 4:15pm

Analysts who try to be over professional and talk like they're in an interview 24/7, and lack any personality in their tone

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 4, 2021 - 4:18pm

Demanding I finish a deck by EOD, only to not look at it for 3+ days, then giving a stack of comments on a Friday afternoon and asking for it back EOD

Jun 4, 2021 - 4:28pm

People who spend more energy trying to talk their way out of a task than it would take to do.

Have a repeat offender in my office, actually lots of them lazy fucks, lost my temper with one of them after three rebuttals of why a simple excel exercise couldn't be done for an engineering project "Buddy I did what I'm asking you to do last night I just forgot to fucking save it and I'm headed to a meeting, know where you stand and get this shit to me by 10" 

Jun 5, 2021 - 4:40am

Any time someone calls me about something that could have been said in a two sentence email. Thanks for taking like 10 minutes out of my day. Also I get really sick of clients who have wildly overblown expectations for themselves. Like your niche pre-clinical drug pipeline that is just reformulations of existing drugs anyways isn't going to sell for 5 billion upfront to Pfizer or BMS. Like lets use our heads here. Also clients who have no understanding of their own industry. This one recently sent me their patient/sales assumptions and put the USA population for a specific disease at like 5x of what literally every single source online reports. I get massaging the numbers a bit, but lets stay in our solar system if possible. Then there is the mandatory shoutout to the senior bankers who seem to think that Friday afternoon is the only acceptable time to send me work. Little known fact, there are actually four other days of the work week before then. I can't say bankerisms annoy me tho because I find them so goofy and have started using them myself--product of my environment I guess.

Dayman?
  • 1
Jun 6, 2021 - 12:04am

Everything associated with IB, but some highlights: 

  • seniors never responding to emails but expecting a response from you within minutes 
  • use of the world "pls" by anyone
  • VPs asking me to email somebody else a very brief message (example: can you respond to counsel and say we are good on this). You could've just emailed them in the time it took you to ask me 
  • Scheduling calls with a bunch of seniors because they don't respond to any emails 
  • "Delivering for the client" - what does this even really mean?
  • VPs / Directors who LIVE for process and view it as an end in and of itself
  • Adding addresses and phone numbers to WGLs. Like we're really going to call a single member of this deal out of the blue? What do we even need an address for? Gtfo
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 7, 2021 - 3:17pm
  • Interns and Analyst 1's (Analyst 1's are by far the worst offenders) who talk like lax bros and don't understand that you have to build up trust and social capital before saying/doing certain shit
  • MD's who don't even try to observe proper etiquette in deal folders, process trackers, etc.
  • Being assigned arduous, ad-hoc excel analyses "to have in our back pocket" that will never be used or even reviewed internally after completion
  • Multiple senior employees to you telling you to prioritize whatever they need from you above your other work
  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 7, 2021 - 3:48pm

Haha, I do it as well, it's less about the bro'y accent and more about not getting too comfortable/casual too quickly with your superiors. For example, your MD can make jokes about knocking back cocktails with clients or being hungover after a closing dinner - but that doesn't mean the first-year analyst should be bringing any attention to the fact that they drank 800 beers last night at Turtle Bay and feel like shit Friday morning. Even small things like swearing on internal calls or meetings. Just because the MDs/VPs cracks jokes and drops F bombs, does not mean that someone who is still making an impression should join in on the racket. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 7, 2021 - 3:41pm
  • Mid-level guys that complain about the client abusing us but then turns around and asks for unnecessary value-add work
  • Mid-level guys trying to add value by making an already convoluted idea even more convoluted
  • Mid-level guys asking if you have weekend plans then giving you weekend work as if they didn't just hear you say you had plans 
Jun 8, 2021 - 10:40pm

Too many meetings.  I have no idea why we need to have two pre-meeting meetings, the actual meeting, and then a post-meeting meeting.  Just say it all during THE meeting.  Bonus points if during the pre-meetings I get asked to put something together and then it turns out my boss didn't actually ask anyone above him what they wanted to see so I get to throw out everything I did and start again.

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